Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Mathieson Lab


Our main interest is in human evolution - and what genomic data can tell us about that process. We use data from both present-day and ancient humans to learn about the history of our species, and combine that data with information from medical genetic studies to learn about the evolution of complex traits, and the distribution of disease risk. To analyze this data, we use tools from statistics and computer science to manage and make inference from large datasets. Here are some of the projects we're currently working on: 

Natural selection in human evolution

  • What ancient adaptations made us human?
  • How did natural selection help us to live in such a dramatic range of environments?
  • Our environment today might be the most extreme in history. What selective pressures are we facing now?  

Human history in the ancient and recent past

  • What are the deep relationships between living and extinct human populations?
  • How did modern humans expand to populate the world?
  • Can we integrate genetic and archaeological data to learn about human interactions in more detail?

The distribution of complex phenotypes among populations

  • Why do complex phenotypes vary among populations, and what's the genetic basis of this variation?
  • Do these differences translate into differences in disease risk?
  • How do we translate genetic studies between populations, and what can we learn from this translation?